iOS 14 update: Everything you need to know

Apple is all set to treat its fandom with the brand new version of iOS. Announced in June 2020 and set to release in the fall of 2020, iOS 14 is already the talk of the town. This new iOS version comes packed with meticulous features, giving its users a better and more secure experience. From the app library that groups all apps in big folders to compact calls that won’t take up the full screen, Apple has a long list of updated features. Among these, there are some major functionalities that will have a sure-shot influence on mobile app development


Let us go through the list of features that iOS 14 offers and how it will possibly help and challenge app developers.


  • App Clips

    One of the major inclusion in the fresh features list is the App Clips. This functionality is already much talked about even before hitting the stands.
    For years, iPhone app development followed a straightforward approach, i.e., you just develop an app, and that’s all. The new App Clips provide an alternative model to this tradition. These are basically mini-apps for iPhone users. They can now have access to limited features of an app instead of downloading an entire app. It’s simple. You open the app using App Clips, complete a specific task, and then the app closes and goes away. As it hasn’t been downloaded, you are not sacrificing any storage space.


    As for developers, App Clips open a range of possibilities. If you have more than one app that is related to each other, App clips can prove to be beneficial. They can integrate App Clips tags into an existing app which can be further used to launch different app clips. Moreover, as these are condensed versions of the apps they can also help your business acquire more users.


  • Widgets

    When it comes to widgets, Apple has always been relaxed. Earlier the widgets were displayed in a way where they did not show much information. With iOS 14, the widgets have been given a complete makeover. Now you can get more information about a particular widget at a glance. Users can also choose from different sizes and add them to Home Screen.

    App developers can see this as an opportunity to build a better
    user experience and a way of increasing engagement with the app. Widgets can be developed for the apps that provide the users with all the main information without even opening the app. In this way, these widgets can be used as powerful marketing tools for your apps.


  • Fresh Privacy Apps

    There are also new updates in the privacy features of iOS 14. Most importantly, the
    apps now will have to ask permission from the user to access their data. iOS 14 has worked to the advantage of its users as now instead of providing their exact location, they can now opt for approximate location. Also, for the apps accessing the media gallery, you can now select images you want to share instead of full access. Apple has also introduced the functionality of indicator light in iOS 14. You will see a green dot in the status when an application is using your device camera and an amber dot when the microphone is in use.


    The app developers can take it as an inspiration to create better security for the apps. Also, the feature of indicator lights can be incorporated into apps.


  • ARKit4

    With iOS 14, Apple has introduced the
    most updated version of augmented reality development software – ARKit4. A variety of high-end features have been added such as Location Anchoring, that will let the developers anchor 3D AR models to specific locations in the world. Maps will come into play for this one. Secondly, the Depth API system has also been updated, allowing you to create more accurate objects for placement in the real world. Lastly, the most significant update is the face tracking compatibility through the Apple Neural Engine. This will allow advanced face tracking in mobile phones.


    This functionality opens doors for so many innovative ideas for developers when it comes to AR. Also, apps using the camera will be able to utilize the benefits of better face tracking.


  • Picture in Picture

    Finally, Apple has included this functionality to its new set of features. With this feature, users can continue to watch a video even when they’re not using the source app. Apple has included this feature mainly for Facetime. Now even when you leave the Facetime app, the other person’s video will still be playing in a small screen format and you can still see each other.

    This feature is a good update for apps that involve videos or video calling features. The picture in picture mode will let them play those videos, even while they continue to do other work on their mobiles.


    The most challenging feature of iOS 14: Opt-in IDFA


    Although Apple had already incorporated the Limited Ad Tracking (LAT) option into iOS devices, users did not need to give their consent for IDFA tracking in iOS 13. Since it was hidden in the settings, they could switch off IDFA tracking in their privacy settings. Only about 30% of users were aware of it. This gave the marketers relative freedom to run personalized campaigns as per their will.


    With the new iOS 14, Apple offers its users a choice whether to opt-in or opt-out of IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers). Once the user opts-in the IDFA, there is no turning back on the decision. This seemingly small change of iOS 14 has taken the $80bn advertising market by storm. Although the real picture will get clear only after the release of iOS 14, developers should anyway be ready for both opt-in and opt-out scenarios.


    Apple has also offered a potential solution for this challenge – SKAdNetwork. The company is all set to develop and update this ad network, which validates advertiser-driven app installations.  This approach is also more privacy-driven for better user experience. It will allow advertisers to analyze both, app installs and in-app events, without being able to identify the user’s device.




    iOS 14 adds to Apple’s legacy of staying ahead of time. With all its exhilarating features, it is sure to be a hit among Apple’s loyal user base. With a better security system, immersive app experience, and effective privacy measures, Apple’s iOS 14 ticks all the boxes. It is great to fit in every app idea and there is a lot for developers to play around with.

    You can write to us at to know more about the different functionalities of this new operating system. We have a team of iOS experts who are happy to help!

Vaishali Uniyal is a content writer. She is also an avid reader and a mental health advocate with a dream to travel every nook and corner of the world.

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